EPIC 1, DoD 0

EPIC won it’s FOIA lawsuit against DoD for Poindexter records:

U.S. District Judge John Bates today issued a decision that rejects the Defense Department’s attempt to impose financial obstacles to EPIC’s requests under the Freedom of Information Act (FOIA). The court ruled
that EPIC is entitled to “preferred fee status” under the FOIA and ordered the Pentagon to “expeditiously” process EPIC’s almost year-old request for information concerning Admiral John Poindexter and the Information Awareness Office (see item below concerning the controversial Total Information Awareness program).

Under 1986 legislative amendments to FOIA enacted in an effort to “keep fees from becoming an unnecessary barrier to disclosure,” entities granted “news media status” are not required to pay search and duplication fees related to their FOIA requests. EPIC has routinely been granted such status since its inception. In response to an EPIC FOIA request submitted in February 2002 seeking documents from Poindexter’s office, DoD refused to process the request unless EPIC agreed to incur substantial fees. The agency claimed that EPIC, as a non-profit public interest organization, did not fall within DoD’s
definition of “representative of the news media.”

Read the decision here: http://www.epic.org/open_gov/foia/fees/EPICvDOD_decision.pdf

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